Multiple NFL sources reported on Tuesday afternoon that Jacksonville wide receiver Justin Blackmon has been suspended for the first four games of the season for a violation of the league's substance abuse policy.
The former Oklahoma State standout and two-time Biletnikoff Award winner will not be paid during the suspension and the financial implications could actually end up being far worse for Blackmon.
He was selected by the Jaguars with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 Draft but was the last first-round selection to reach a contract largely because of the off-the-field concerns from a DUI arrest in Stillwater in June 2012.
Blackmon pleaded guilty to that DUI arrest in July of last year and received a deferred sentence of one year with fines and 50 hours of community service. He was also previously arrested on a DUI charge in Texas in 2010 that was later reduced to underage alcohol possession.
As a result of the two alcohol-related incidents, his rookie contract with the Jags came with stipulations that could void guaranteed money if he were to have another legal slip up.
Blackmon was only given 60 percent of his signing bonus with the other 40 percent coming on later dates if he were to stay out of legal trouble.
As a result of this most recent suspension, the four-game ban will cost Blackmon nearly $290,000 and might void the guaranteed language of his contract – $10,722,248 in base salaries and annual roster bonuses that remain on his four-year, $18.5 million contract.
Jacksonville could also take back the portion of his $7.11 million signing bonus for the weeks that he is suspended, which would cost Blackmon an additional $418,235.
After the announcement of his suspension on Tuesday, Blackmon and the team released this statement in a press release:
"I've made a mistake and I have no excuse. I am truly sorry and disappointed in myself for putting the Jaguars in this situation, and I look forward to putting this behind me and maturing and growing as a person."
Blackmon had 64 receptions for 865 yards with five touchdowns as a rookie last season.